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Blog _Proud To Scout Jack

We spoke to Jack, a Young Leader, about his experience of coming out in Scouting and why he is proud to Scout.

Question: What is it like being a Young Leader?

Answer: Being a Young Leader makes me proud. When I see a young person’s face smiling at the end of a night and saying thank you, it gives me a warm feeling and one that makes me feel wanted, respected and makes me realise what Scouting is all about.

Question: Tell us about yourself and your story of coming out.

Answer: The way I have usually come out is by people asking someone else about my sexuality and then asking me to confirm it. This has been a nice way, instead of having to sit someone down and tell them.

How I came out in Scouting was quite funny. I was sitting around a campfire at a birthday party with a couple of other Scout leaders; I know one of the Scout leaders quite well and we were talking about stuff and I came out to her. Her reaction was fantastic! Her words were ‘I kind of already knew.’  She made me laugh, which made the situation a lot easier to deal with. I think pretty much everyone in my District now knows, which is brilliant and everyone has accepted it, which is good.

Question: What is it like telling somebody that you’re gay?

Answer: There is a lot of stigma around how you come out, but for me the one thing I find is that passion always takes over. At first there’s always tears involved, but that’s only because you’re so passionate about what you believe in. Some people say it’s just a phase (the people who don’t want to believe it) and the thing is, you have to tell them that it’s not just a phase. You have to tell them that this is who I am. It sounds pretty simple, however, it can be very nerve racking and it can be very intense.

Question: What advice would you give to other young people who are LGBT and want to come out?

Answer: A young person should come out when they feel comfortable to and when they feel the time is right, because it can be very difficult to go through it and some people don’t take the news as well as others. A young person should also get advice from friends that they know and trust. Friends are there for you all the time and will be the people who will stand by you if something was to go horribly wrong. Thankfully that doesn’t happen a lot of the time.

'I'm proud to be a Scout because I know I am a part of a diverse Association'

 

Question: How else can Scouts help support our LGBT young people?

Answer: There is FLAGS, an Active Support Unit that supports LGBT adults, but there needs to be support for young people as well. I think there are a lot of people in Scouting who are afraid to come out and they shouldn’t be.

Question: Who is your hero in Scouting and why?

Answer: My hero in Scouting has got to be Sue (I call her my aunty Sue) who I've known and trusted for years. She used to be my Cub Leader and she is an amazing lady who I now have the honour of working with at Cubs.

Question: What makes you proud to be a Scout?

Answer: I'm proud to be a Scout because I know I am a part of a diverse Association, dedicated to the needs and fulfillment of all young people. I'm also proud to be a Scout as every young person who goes through Scouting takes away qualities that the real world needs.

As an all-inclusive movement we need to move with the times, accept new people and help them come into this amazing Association. I'm proud to Scout!

If you have a story to tell like Jack, tell us at scouts.org.uk/stories. Show your support and get involved with Pride 2015 by visiting the FLAGS website for upcoming events. #scoutpride. 

   

    

 

 

     

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